Infrared Light – Definition and its Effect on Eyes

Introduction to Infrared Light

Infrared light is a type of light which is outside the visible range. The wavelengths of this light are longer in comparison to wavelengths of visible light. Furthermore, humans cannot see this light but can feel its heat.

Also, this type of light can have some negative effects on the eyes. Students can learn more about this light and its effect on eyes here.


Definition and Meaning of Infrared Light

Infrared light refers to the electromagnetic radiation with longer wavelengths than the visible light. Furthermore, it is generally invisible to the eye of humans. IR wavelengths extend from the nominal red edge of the visible spectrum at 700 nanometres to 1 millimetre.

The thermal radiation which the objects at room temperature emit is certainly IR. Furthermore, IR involves radiant energy and it behaves like a wave and its photon, which is the quantum particle.

IR is emitted and absorbed by the molecules when they change their movements. Furthermore, these movements are rotational-vibrational in nature.

IR excites vibrational modes in a molecule by a change in the movement of the dipole. This makes it a useful frequency range for study of these energy states for molecules of the proper symmetry.

Infrared Uses

Individuals usually make use of infrared light in homes on several occasions. Furthermore, these individuals may not even be aware of it.

Television remote controls make use of IR so as to change channels. Moreover, the toaster uses IR so as to transmit heat. Also, many lamps have incandescent bulbs. These incandescent bulbs emit a huge portion of their energy as IR light. Similarly, there are other uses of IR light.

Why Infrared Light is Harmful to Eyes

All infrared, whether ultraviolet electromagnetic radiation or visible can cause significant injury to the eyes. This happens when the concentration of IR is sufficient. However, this is extremely rare. The IR light must be very intense to cause any harm or damage.

It is very important for individuals to take precautions when dealing with infrared light. This is because IR light is invisible to the human eye.

The invisibility of IR light means that the eyes will not take any protective or defensive measures to protect themselves from IR light. Moreover, these defensive measures could be blinking or closing the eye when a high-intensity IR beam shines.

There are some rare extreme cases in which the eyes may absorb excessive IR light. In such cases of extreme magnitude, irreversible damage to the eyes may result.

Furthermore, incandescent bulbs and IR lamps do not have enough power to cause such significant harm. However, one must always take precaution.

It is best if one does not stare at an IR light source directly for too long. Above all, staring at any light source for too long can be damaging for the eyes.

Solved Question for You

Q1. Which of the following statements is not in accordance with infrared light?

A. Infrared light can cause skin damage
B. Infrared light refers to the electromagnetic radiation with longer wavelengths than the visible light
C. Infrared light is a type of light which is outside the visible range
D. Infrared light can cause damage to the human eyes

A1. The correct option is option A., which is “infrared light can cause skin damage.” This is because, IR light causes damage to the human eyes, not the skin.

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